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Do Building Energy Codes Have a Lasting Effect on Energy Consumption? New Evidence From Residential Billing Data in Florida

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  • Matthew J. Kotchen

Abstract

This paper provides an ex post evaluation of how changes to a building energy code affect energy consumption. Using residential billing data for electricity and natural gas over 11 years, the analysis is based on comparisons between residences constructed just before and just after a building code change in Florida. While an earlier study using 3 years of data for the same residences showed savings for both electricity an natural gas, new results show an enduring savings for natural gas only. These findings underscore the importance of accounting for age versus vintage effects and all sources of energy consumption when conducting evaluations of building codes. More broadly, the results provide a counterpoint to the growing literature casting doubt on whether ex ante forecasts of energy efficiency policies and investments can provide useful information about actual energy savings. Indeed, more than a decade after Florida's energy code change, the measured energy savings still meets or exceeds the forecasted amount.

Suggested Citation

  • Matthew J. Kotchen, 2015. "Do Building Energy Codes Have a Lasting Effect on Energy Consumption? New Evidence From Residential Billing Data in Florida," NBER Working Papers 21398, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21398
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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w21398.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hunt Allcott & Michael Greenstone, 2012. "Is There an Energy Efficiency Gap?," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 26(1), pages 3-28, Winter.
    2. Chong, Howard, 2012. "Building vintage and electricity use: Old homes use less electricity in hot weather," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 56(5), pages 906-930.
    3. Meredith Fowlie & Michael Greenstone & Catherine Wolfram, 2015. "Do Energy Efficiency Investments Deliver? Evidence from the Weatherization Assistance Program," NBER Working Papers 21331, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Dora L. Costa & Matthew E. Kahn, 2010. "Why Has California's Residential Electricity Consumption Been So Flat since the 1980s?: A Microeconometric Approach," NBER Working Papers 15978, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    5. Grant D. Jacobsen & Matthew J. Kotchen, 2013. "Are Building Codes Effective at Saving Energy? Evidence from Residential Billing Data in Florida," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(1), pages 34-49, March.
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    1. repec:eee:eneeco:v:64:y:2017:i:c:p:63-76 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • Q4 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy

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